Tuesday, September 1, 2015

India’s Supreme Court suspends lower court ban on starvation ritual

By Ellen Barry

INDIA---India’s Supreme Court on Monday suspended a state-level court’s ban on a religious practice called santhara, a fast to the death most often undertaken by the sick and aged. The case was initiated in 2006 by an activist who argued that the practice amounted to suicide and that relatives sometimes forced it on family members who could no longer properly give consent. Defenders of the practice, which is considered to bring honor to a family, argue that it is both distinct from suicide and essential to Jainism, which celebrates acts of radical renunciation. [link]